Amazon.com Inc. might make an offer to acquire India’s e-commerce company Flipkart, which is in negotiations with Walmart for a tie-up, local media have reported. The two colossal retailers are jostling for dominance in the booming online industry in India.
Amazon held exploratory talks to acquire a controlling interest in Flipkart an Indian rival, but Flipkart entering into a deal to work with Walmart is much more likely, said Mint the daily newspaper on Wednesday, citing individuals with inside knowledge of this situation.
One individual familiar with this situation said that the likelihood of a deal involving Amazon was low, and any deal of that kind could spark concerns of monopoly as Amazon and Flipkart dominant the e-commerce market in India.
Amazon would not release a comment after being contacted, while both Walmart and Flipkart failed to respond to messages left requesting comments.
Walmart is holding talks to acquire more than 40% of Flipkart, which would be one of its largest ever deals overseas, said a news report.
A deal with Flipkart would give the largest brick and mortar retailer in the world access to a market of e-commerce that analysts estimate will be worth over $200 billion in just ten years.
This deal would represent as well a direct challenge to the dominance of Amazon in the third largest economy in Asia. Amazon has committed $5 billion to investing in India as it moves into grocery delivery online.
Walmart will purchase a majority share in Flipkart via a mix of share purchases and the deal could give the India company a value of $21 billion, said the local newspaper.
Flipkart was founded in 2007 by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal two former employees with Amazon and controls close to 40% of the online retail market in India, ahead of rival Amazon, shows estimates by Forrester the online researcher.
Like Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon, the two started selling books and then diversified quickly, including selling smartphone via flash sales. Now Flipkart competes with the likes of Amazon in nearly all product categories.
The success of Flipkart has attracted several tech-savvy and cash rich investors including Tiger Global Management the U.S. hedge fund, eBay, and Microsoft Corp., along with tech firm from China Tencent Holdings
It was given a value of $12 billion when SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund purchased a stake of 20% in the company during 2017 for the price of $2.5 billion.